Short Movie Review: Punisher War Zone

For an action movie Punisher War Zone is pretty disappointing: it is certainly not good, but it is also not bad in any interesting ways like say The Spirit or Shoot ‘Em Up. I wanted to like this if only for Dominic West playing the villain Jigsaw; we know he’s capable of a solid American accent but as a villain he sounds like a mishmash Italian/Russian generic mobster. My experience  here was similar to the Max Payne movie: some interest in the source material led me to what would end up being an unsatisfying movie experience.

Is there anything particularly notable about Punisher War Zone? We’ll there’s an obsession with colored lighting that makes it feel like the movie is set more in Joel Schumacher’s Gotham than New York City. You’ve also got an almost fetishistic enthusiasm for depicting not just people getting shot, but stabbed, decapitated, impaled, and exploded. This dedication to gruesome depictions of murder at times make me feel like I’ve been tricked into watching a slasher movie set in the Marvel universe. I’m all for a bit of the ol’ ultraviolence, but War Zone just feels gross at time.

So yeah, if you’re really into the Punisher I’m guessing you’ve already checked it out when it was in the theatres, everyone else can probably pass.